Occurrence of platinum, palladium and gold in pine needles of Pinus pinea L. from the city of Palermo (Italy)

Gaetano Dongarra', Daniela Varrica, Dongarrá, Sabatino

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63 Citations (Scopus)


Preliminary data on the presence of Pt, Pd and Au in airborne particulate matter from the urban area of Palermo (Sicily, Italy) are presented. They were obtained by analysing 40 samples of pine needles (Pinus pinea L.) collected in and around the city. Observed concentrations range from 1 to 102 μg/kg for Pt, 1 to 45 μg/kg for Pd and 22 to 776 μg/kg for Au. Platinum and Pd concentrations in pine needles are up to two orders of magnitude higher than their crustal abundances. They exhibit a high statistical correlation (R2=0.74) which suggests a common origin. Precious metal concentrations measured within the city centre are much higher than those occurring outside the town. The distribution patterns of Pt and Pd in the study area are compared to the distributions of Au and Pb. Gold is enriched at the same sites where Pt and Pd are enriched, while Pb shows some discrepancies. The most probable local source of all of these elements is traffic, Average Pt and Pd emissions in the city area are estimated to be about 136 and 273 g/a, respectively. This study supports the use of pine needles as biomonitors of PGE in the environment.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)109-116
Number of pages8
JournalApplied Geochemistry
Publication statusPublished - 2003

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Pollution
  • Geochemistry and Petrology

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